Nepal's new govt seeks to balance its ties with India, China in growth pursuit

Nepal's new government, led by the former Maoist rebel chief, will try to balance ties with its immediate neighbours China and India as it seeks economic growth in one of the world's poorest countries, officials of the ruling coalition told Reuters.

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The UML leader and former prime minister, Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, is believed to be pro-China.Nepal is one of several South Asian countries where India and China both seek influence. India has long considered Hindu-majority Nepal, a Himalayan country of 30 million, as a natural ally based on their close historical ties and long open border.

"We'll maintain relationships of equi-proximity with both our neighbours," Narayan Kaji Shrestha, a senior member of Prachanda's Maoist Centre party, told Reuters. Shrestha was later named as a deputy prime minister."We must immediately focus on containing inflation, maintain reserves, raise capital expenses, narrow the trade deficit and lower interest rates."

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